Colombo: Impressed with Manoj Tiwary’s knock in the final one-day International (ODI) against Sri Lanka, India coach Duncan Fletcher says the middle-order batsman is a “serious contender” for a place in the side.
Fletcher felt Tiwary, who made a fluent 65, has made best use of the opportunities.
“He has shown great temperament… He didn’t succumb under pressure. In fact, he has produced the desired results. He is a serious contender for a regular place in the one-day side,” Fletcher said.
A series of defeats in England and Australia did not do much to Fletcher’s reputation as a coach. In Asia Cup, too, the Indian team could not qualify for the final. Fletcher said the 4-1 win over Sri Lanka will provide the team with the much-needed impetus.
“It was a very good win after a long break. We obviously had some fitness issues… But we worked on them… We played some good cricket throughout the series. I think we are pretty pleased with the 4-1 result,” Fletcher, who took over from Gary Kirsten at the end of the 2011 World Cup, said after India’s win on Saturday.
Speaking further about the performance of his team, Fletcher said: “Beating Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka is very difficult. Not many sides have been able to do it. When we get back to India we have some difficult tours coming up. Hopefully this win gives the side a lot of confidence.”
Fletcher also lavished praised on the in-form Virat Kohli, who was named the Man of the Series.
“The good thing about him is that he is continuing with his form,” he said.
On all-rounder Irfan Pathan, who was adjudged the Man of the Match in the final ODI for picking up five wickets, Fletcher said, “He is a very professional player on and off the field. He has worked hard and deserves the accolades.”
Fletcher said there were moments in the series when Sri Lanka appeared to gain momentum, but he was glad that his side showed the right attitude in pegging the hosts.
“There have been problems on previous away tours when we have had the opposition in trouble, but we were not able to maintain the pressure on them. It is something which we spoke about during team meetings. I’m glad that the boys have held their nerves and maintained the discipline that we require of them,” he said.